The Henry B. Whittington Diary Finding Aid MS011

The Henry B. Whittington Diary Finding Aid MS011


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Local History and Special Collections Branch, Alexandria Library

717 Queen Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
pwalker@alexlibraryva.org
URL: http://alexlibraryva.org/lhsc

Special Collections Staff; updated by Amanda Acosta

Repository
Local History and Special Collections Branch, Alexandria Library
Identification
MS011
Title
Henry B. Whittington Diary (MS011) 24 May 1861 - 22 April 1865
Quantity
.316 Cubic Feet, 1 card box, The diary is a collection of sheets of lined pages, folded crosswise in pairs with the entries written across the lines. There is no cover. Loose threads along the folded edge of some sections suggest that some or all of the diary may have been bound at one time.
Creator
Whittington, Henry B. (Henry Bassford), 1812-1884
Language
English .

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been assigned to the Alexandria Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Alexandria Library. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Alexandria Library as the owner of the physical items and as the owner of copyright in items created by the donor. Although copyright was transferred by the donor, copyright in some items in the collection may still be held by their respective creator(s). For further information contact the Alexandria Library, Local History and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Fragile handwritten documents. Handle with care.

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm copy, Reel #00056 Civil War Vertical File: transcript, May 24 - August 12, 1861. Full transcript available on Library server.

Preferred Citation

[Item identification], Henry B. Whittington Diary, MS011, Alexandria Library, Local History/Special Collections, Alexandria, Va.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collections was donated to Local History/Special Collections, Alexandria Library by James Douglas Jr.


Biographical / Historical

Henry Bassford Whittington, 1812? - 1884, was a clerk for an Alexandria mercantile business during the Civil War. Previously he lived in Dinwiddie County for some period of time. He also enjoyed a local reputation as a poet and his work was occasionally published in the Alexandria Gazette during the latter half of the nineteenth century. During the Federal occupation of Alexandria, he kept a diary of nearly daily entries for the period of May 24, 1861 to March 1, 1865. At the time of the 1870 Federal Census, he was living in the Mansion House Hotel. Whittington died in Alexandria on September 25, 1884.

Content Description

The diary begins on the date of Federal occupation of Alexandria by Union troops, May 24, 1861. Entries describe events related to the Civil War, the occupying troops, and attitudes of the local populace. There is rich detail regarding personnel of the ever-changing occupying force, its disruption of local affairs, and response of the citizens. Local and national events such as major battles, skirmishes, and political occurrences are vividly described. References to persons important to the history of Alexandria and the country for that period are frequent. Sectional opinion of the period toward issues such as slavery, contrabands, and emancipation are also present. Relevant newspaper clippings cut by Whittington are included in Folio 3. The diary ends on April 22, 1865.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically into seven folios.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Alexandria (Va.) -- Social life and customs -- 1860-1870.
  • Diaries.
  • Fugitive slaves
  • Military occupation damages
  • Slavery -- United States
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Whittington, Henry B. (Henry Bassford), 1812-1884

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • Alexandria (Va.) -- Social life and customs -- 1860-1870.
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Container List

Text box: 1 folder: 1
Henry B. Whittington Diary
24 May 1861 - 16 January 1862
Text box: 1 folder: 2
Henry B. Whittington Diary
17 January 1862 - 27 July 1862
Mixed Materials box: 1 folder: 3
Henry B. Whittington Diary
28 July 1862 - 2 April 1863
Text box: 1 folder: 4
Henry B. Whittington Diary
3 April 1863 - 19 November 1863
Text box: 1 folder: 5
Henry B. Whittington Diary
20 November 1863 - 27 June 1864
Text box: 1 folder: 6
Henry B. Whittington Diary
28 June 1864 - 26 November 1864
Text box: 1 folder: 7
Henry B. Whittington Diary
27 November 1864 - 22 April 1865